Report says animal management research needed

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A report from a science source for food, agricultural, and environmental issues calls for research on connections among animal management, animal health, and food safety.  

The commentary published in early May by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology indicates scientific examination is needed to show the potential effects of changing U.S. policies on farm practices, including those connected with animal housing and antimicrobial use. The organization lists areas of possible research, including the frequency of subclinical infection at harvest, the human health risk connected with administration of low doses of antimicrobials in food-producing animals, and the consequences of changing current practices involving farm animals.

Dr. H. Scott Hurd, associate professor and director of graduate education at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, is chair of the committee that wrote the CAST commentary. He said the document is most intended for those in Washington, D.C., who create policies on how food animals are raised and for researchers, who could develop increasingly accurate models and analyses of the effects of policies on raising animals.

“When we make certain animal raising decisions, let’s be sure we look at the secondary, unintended consequences,” he said.

The report is available at